Bill goes the wrong direction on medical malpractice

To the editor:

Harmful legislation (A.285 and S.911-A) backed by New York’s trial lawyers would change New York state’s medical malpractice statute of limitations. While patients who are the victims of malpractice deserve justice and fair compensation, this proposed law does nothing to further those goals. In fact, it would have negative consequences for our entire healthcare system.

Adirondack Health and all of New York’s world-class doctors and hospitals already spend billions annually on medical malpractice coverage – the highest in the nation. This legislation would increase these already enormous costs by hundreds of millions of dollars and further divert critical patient care resources.

New York’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is among the longest in the nation, with important exceptions for children and patients undergoing continued treatment.

Unlike New York state, many states with provisions similar to those in this bill also have reasonable caps on the amount that can be recovered for pain and suffering, and some even cap total damages.

This proposed legislation is the wrong approach to fix New York’s medical malpractice system.

We urge the New York state Legislature to reject this piecemeal legislation and consider a comprehensive approach to medical malpractice reform that strengthens New York’s entire health care system.

Sincerely,

Dr. Waguih Kirollos

President

Adirondack Health Medical Staff

Saranac Lake